December 5th, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 20
Week 3 Playoffs: Grand Finals
Well, this very well might be the last Gold article I ever write. Next season Gold is going to be merged with Plat and I doubt we’ll see Gold return at any point, what with the continued decreasing numbers of UGC overall. This is a good way to send the division off however, with a match that could honestly go either way. Until last week, The Slammin’ Jammers looked unbeatable, but Dedoris finally were able to take away their undefeated record. As a result, Door now go into grand finals from the winner’s brackets and The Jammers will have to win two best of three’s if they wish to walk away with first place. How do I think the first best of three will go? Well, let’s look at the maps:
Map one: pl_millstone
My prediction: Door wins
This map is Door’s pick and I find it a bit of an unusual one. From my experience, this map has a variety of very strong sniper sight lines, which could possibly play into The Jammer’s hands. That is, however, if andrew (sniper, JAM) is able to out snipe zoey (sniper, DOOR). When these two teams last played, zoey actually came out on top in the sniper battle. However, the first time they played andrew was the victor. So, it’s hard to say for sure which sniper is really likely to do better here. I’d lean towards andrew, since he’s overall been a bit stronger than zoey this season, but they’re both extremely capable.
Beyond sniper, I’m even more unsure which team this map favors. I’d say this map has both holds and pushes that require a high amount of team coordination, but I don’t think that is either of these team’s strong suit. I’m going to have to presume that Door knew what they were doing when they picked this map and has a good grasp on how to execute pushes and holds on this map.
Map two: pl_upward
My prediction: JAM wins
Similar to millstone, it’s kind of hard to predict this map because off of zoey and andrew’s varied performances against each other. I think The Jammers almost certainly picked this map based off the idea that andrew would destroy on it, but that’s a bit of a risky play. This pick could backfire on them, considering upward is also a very strong demo as well as sniper map and syath (demo, DOOR) is a stronger demo than source (demo, JAM).
Still, presuming the sniper battle is fairly close this map will likely come down to just whichever team has the better individual performances. And The Jammers certainly has the upper hand when it comes to individual talent. In similar fashion to millstone, I’m pretty much just going to trust The Jammer’s judgement and presume they knew what they were doing with this pick. If andrew doesn’t go off I don’t see how this map in particular favors them, but they undoubtedly know better than I do.
Map three: koth_ashville
My prediction: Door wins
If both teams win on their map picks, then the winner of this set will come down to ashville. The two team’s records against each other on asvhille is currently 1-1. However, The Jammers really struggled to deal with Door’s full time kritz last time they play on ashville. Perhaps it was because full time kritz placed emphasis on the demo’s and syath is much stronger than source, or perhaps The Jammers are just bad at adapting when their opponents employ new strategies. I can’t say for sure, but it is certain they got destroyed by full time kritz.
The Jammers have no doubt been talking about how to deal with kritz on this map and presumably they’ve come up with a decent way to deal with it. Still, the fact that they will have to put a lot of focus on playing around Door’s kritz will make things a lot harder for them. Even if they’ve come up with a decent way to counter it, all the attention they’ll have to pay to countering it will give an advantage to Door.
Still, I’m not really that confident this map will go to Door. If JJslim, andrew and mirrorman go off, The Jammers could easily win just based on out dm’ing Door. If they do, the bracket will reset and we’ll have another best of three. For the entire grand finals the advantage certainly goes to Door, as they only have to win one best of three, but this first best of three could honestly go either way. I think it’s only a slight advantage to Door.